BR loop pits residents in Central

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 10:45pm

It's a multi-billion dollar road plan to help alleviate Baton Rouge traffic congestion that sounds good to some, and sounds like a disaster to others.

the city of central took up the issue of the proposed baton rouge loop project Tuesday.  

This issue has the potential to divide the city of Central in half.  The city council met tonight and decided whether or not to pass a resolution, formally rejecting the idea for the Baton Rouge loop.

The meeting turned into a standing room only event as both sides showed in large numbers to argue their point.  The Baton Rouge loop route is projected to pass through Central, so the issue touches a nerve to those who fear they may lose their property, or that the construction of a large throughway would bring full-scale development and destroy the small, rural feel of their community.

"If you don't believe the loop through Central is what they're going to do, your naïve," said Jr. Shelton, a Central resident opposing the loop.  "The loop is being built for one reason only; to get traffic out of Baton Rouge and into neighboring cities and parishes.  It will do nothing to alleviate the traffic in Central."

But the issue seemed to divide the city between an older generation who didn't want the project in Central, and the younger generation who was more open-minded and willing to hear more details on the project before flat out rejecting it.

During public comments, about two dozen speakers approached the podium. The numbers were almost identitical of those for and against the idea.

"I'm the proud signer of a petition asking the city council to objectively consider the loop and its capacity to meet the transportation needs of the future," said Jason Ellis, who is open to the loop idea.  "I'm not pro-loop or anti-loop, just a citizen who wants to understand both sides."

The city council eventually passed the resolution to reject the loop idea, but even they were split with a 3-to-2 vote on the issue.

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